BY J.A. JONES, Staff Writer
ST. PETERSBURG — At artist Ya La’Ford’s exhibit, “Glyphs,” on display at Florida CraftArt through Jan. 20, there is a palpable energy as viewers step into a gilded vortex of mirrors, lines and hieroglyphs.
Visitors to the gallery are quickly transported by the boldly designed sculptures that incorporate and invite public contributions to the site-specific pieces. Familiar, everyday objects – the mysterious “cosmic ladder” suspended from the sky, a re-envisioned “receptacle of dreams” that was once a garbage can and a luminous bowl of “future-thoughts” that could have been a giant chair frame — have been transformed into powerful fetish objects by La’Ford’s practiced and detailed application of thought, inspiration, spiritual depth and gold layers.
“I wanted the St. Pete community to experience art as a life-long treasure, and the purpose of this particular exhibit was to display how art has this intrinsic value that exists to revolutionize the social, cultural and historic context of the human journey,” explained La’Ford.
Although La’Ford has been weaving the evocative power of the universal ley line throughout her work for a number of years, in “Glyphs” the Tampa Bay and New York-based artist found herself heavily influenced by a recent global tour that included stops in Cuba, Columbia, Thailand, China, Turkey and Egypt.
Her penchant for creating work that engages both a sense of self-reflection, community activism and the inner eye of spiritual wisdom is revealed in the glittering, fiery crystals and multi-dimensional reflections cast by the collection’s panoramic display of mirrored walls.
“I really wanted that color gold because of the effect it had on me while I was in Egypt and its association with illumination, love, compassion, courage, passion, magic, wisdom. Gold is a precious metal that is associated with wealth, grandeur and prosperity…as well as sparkle, glitz, and glamour. I believe that added to a mirrored surface, the work would allow the community to see themselves as valuable and as precious as gold.”